Ruler-FMQ Quilting a Hexagon Quilt
Our April One Monthly Goal (OMG) was to complete a hexagon baby quilt top. We were quite successful in piecing the top by mid-month. Quilting it was not meant to be even though the desire existed. This quilt top has an equal amount of ruler work and FMQ in the design. I learned a lot – good and bad – while completing this piece!
Hexagon Backing – Quilt Design
We selected this cute backing fabric from Moda called Bramble because it goes so well with the baby’s theme. A nice light gray thread was chosen and several bobbins were filled. The Stonehenge line was used for the quilt top.
The quilting design was something I had in my Pinterest account for ages. Isn’t it amazing when you check what you’ve PINned and then find the answer you are searching for?!! This design was from Angela Walters – here’s is her inspiration photo and my attempt to draw it on clear plexiglass.
This quilting design lends itself well to continuous stitching, of which I am a huge fan. Happily, I started quilting in the center hexagon and moved to the next one with great success. I was starting to get my groove on . . . and then the thread breaking game began. At first, I thought I was moving my hands too quickly . . . or too slowly to match the sewing speed. Rip, rip. Then I tried rethreading the machine, a new needle, and lowering the position of the presser foot. More ripping ensued. There may have been some growling as well – poor Sue. As a last resort, I tried my old faithful pale yellow thread which allowed hope to return.
Hexagon Ruler Lessons
When deciding this project called for ruler work along with FMQ, I discovered that I do not have a straight quilting ruler long enough. Maybe I can eyeball it? Seriously. I considered that for those first two gray-thread blocks. Umm, no. Straight-ish just doesn’t cut it for me. What to do? What to do? Amazon!! No . . . I don’t want to wait TEN days to get a longer ruler. Hmm. Maybe our friend, Carol, has one. This is essential and urgent . . .
After a nice refreshing sleep, the answer came to me. Mark the center and quilt to that mark! Yes, my ruler is long enough for that. One mid-point is marked by a seam in the center of the hexagon while the other points are marked using the temporary chalk and a regular ruler.
Often, the sewing machine needle is spaced 1/4″ away from the edge of my ruler presser foot. In order to hit this seam intersection exactly with the needle, the ruler needs to be offset the same 1/4″. This nifty tool helps me place the ruler in the correct spot. In the end, you can see I was one thread off! I used the ruler for the straight lines in the design and to stitch-in-the-ditch over to the next point for straight lines.
Hexagon FMQ Tips
The blue straight line was stitched first with a ruler and then the wavy petal shape was FMQ back to the starting point. Next, the two green straight lines were quilted using the ruler followed by the wavy green FMQ line. Finally, the two red straight lines were quilted and the wavy FMQ line. You can continuously stitch to the next hexagon and easily move diagonally across the row.
The key to this design is that the wavy/petal is on the SAME side of the straight line. Either on the right in my drawing or the left as in Angela’s stitching, be consistent. Ask me how I know . . . it may have involved some ripping when I forgot which side. Handily enough, I also got confused about which line to rip out so I ripped out the correct wavy petal first. Truth.
Hexagon Quilting Edge Closeup
Two sides of the quilt had half-hexagon blocks. Those had to be quilted as if they were a whole block but cut off. I marked the center of the block on the batting and then aimed toward that mark when quilting the straight line and petal. I’ve also shared a closeup view of the overall quilting prior to washing the quilt.
Hexagon Ta-Da Finish
Just one more picture to show the darker teal binding along with the quilted backing.
And at last, a Hexagon baby quilt ta-da!
Sue and Rosalie will be giving this to their boss later this month. Maybe they’ll share a photo with me with the new bundle of joy enjoying it?!
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